Congress

Debbie Dingell says ailing former Rep. John Dingell has entered ‘new phase’

Dingell announced Wednesday that she is home with her husband who has been in failing health

Rep. John D. Dingell, D-Mich., and his wife Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., speak with reporters as they arrive for the 114th Congress Member Reception in the Cannon House Office Building on Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Debbie Dingell announced Wednesday that she is home with her husband, former Michigan Rep. John D. Dingell, who has been in failing health.

Dingell announced on Twitter that she was “home with John and we have entered a new phase. He is my love and we have been a team for nearly 40 years.” Dingell, 92, suffered a heart attack in September.  

She went on to say Wednesday that the family will be “taking each day as it comes. We thank people for their friendship and support and ask for prayers and privacy during this difficult time.”

Dingell is the longest-serving member of Congress. He served from 1955 until his retirement in 2015.

Dingell’s father, John David Dingell, Sr., was also a longtime member of the House. He was a strong proponent of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal program. He was also a proponent of a national insurance plan, and other laws including the National Labor Relations Act and Social Security.

Dingell’s wife, Debbie, succeeded him as Michigan’s 12 District representative. 

In September, Dingell said her husband had suffered a heart attack and was admitted to Henry Ford Hospital.

“He’s alert and in good spirits, cracking jokes like always,” she said at the time.

His release from the hospital was announced about a week later on Twitter.

The post showed Dingell sitting in a wheelchair wearing a University of Michigan sweatsuit and giving a thumbs up. 

His wife, Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., joked that it was because the nurses and doctors had “heard all of John’s stories and decided it was time.”

Dingell, an avid tweeter, particularly in retirement, weighed in regularly on politics and his beloved University of Michigan football team.

Most recently, he offered President Donald Trump advice.

Dingell attached the message “Buddy, I think you might want to sit this one out,” to one of the president’s tweets wading into a controversy over a racist photo found on the medical school yearbook page of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam. 

 

Lindsey McPherson and Katherine Tully-McManus contributed to this report.

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